US, Russian astronauts safe after emergency landing

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station before an emergency shutdown of its second stage. (AP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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US, Russian astronauts safe after emergency landing

  • The three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an emergency shutdown of its second stage
  • The launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan: Two astronauts from the US and Russia were safe after an emergency landing Thursday in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40pm Thursday from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket. Roscosmos and NASA said the three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an emergency shutdown of its second stage. The capsule jettisoned from the booster and went into a ballistic descent, landing at a sharper than normal angle.
The launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program, which has been dogged by a string of launch failures and other incidents.
“Thank God, the crew is alive,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when it became clear that the crew had landed safely.
They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later, but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch.
NASA and Russian Roscosmos space agency said the astronauts were in good condition after their capsule landed about 20 kilometers east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.
Search and rescue teams were heading to the area to recover the crew. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometers northeast of Baikonur. Spacecraft returning from the ISS normally land in that region.


SpaceX rocket carrying moon-bound Israeli spacecraft lifts off

Updated 22 February 2019
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SpaceX rocket carrying moon-bound Israeli spacecraft lifts off

  • Israel's spacecraft is scheduled to land on the moon landing on April 11

WASHINGTON: A SpaceX rocket took off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Thursday night carrying Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft, which aims to make history twice: as the first private-sector landing on the Moon, and the first from the Jewish state.
The start of the flight went smoothly, with the first stage entry burn completed uneventfully less than three minutes after lift-off.
The moon landing is scheduled for seven weeks’ time, on April 11.